1,000 year-old pagoda after and before its “restoration"

VietNamNet Bridge – The Tram Gian (One-hundred-compartment) Pagoda will be restored to its original state, said officials from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The pagoda, in Chuong My District on the outskirts of Hanoi, was built in 1185 during the reign of King Ly Cao Tong (1176-1210) and is famous for its 600-year-old bell tower.

However, it has undergone restoration over the past three months without permission from relevant authorities. Inspections by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism concluded that the practice had violated the country's Cultural Heritage Law.

Findings reveal that major structures including the main temple, the two-story bell tower and steps from the tower to the forecourt have been dismantled and rebuilt. All the wood structures, roof tiles of the main temple and the bell tower were removed and left unattended behind the pagoda while the blue marble steps were replaced with new stones.

Vu Xuan Thanh, chief inspector of the culture ministry, said the reconstruction of these structures was almost done when the inspection delegation arrived at the site on August 28.

The “restoration” was cancelled immediately.

The nun in charge of managing the pagoda also took responsibility for dismantling and reconstructing parts of the pagoda at her own initiative without approval from relevant authorities.

The culture ministry required the municipal administration to work with competent agencies to stop the renovation, tackle the wrongdoing, protect and preserve the old materials, and immediately find ways to save the national historical heritage.

The ministry also called for measures to fully utilize existing building materials to restore the structures to their original states.

Let’s see how the ancient pagoda was “restored”: